Obviously your tenting needs change with what kind of camping you intend on doing. If you plan to backpack and hike, a lighter and smaller tent is most recommended, while if hauling isn’t an issue, you may want a larger, roomier tent. Also comfort and protection from the elements is an imperative issue when considering a tent.
If you are camping in the desert or during cold season, you would want a cold weather tent. But if you and the family are just taking a trip up to the lake for Memorial Day, a three season tent is perfect. Three season tents with a removable raincoat are even recommended for use as much as possible. They often have net tops to keep the bugs out while letting you enjoy the dark country sky.
Size doesn’t necessarily translate to portability anymore. With today’s camping technology, a collapsible 8 man tent can be compressed to a size more portable than a 1-man bivy tent. But these tend to be a bit more expensive. This begs the question of how much you are willing to spend. Obviously there is more benefit to more expensive tents, such as capability to lead an exposition with lighter equipment.
In addition to these crucial components, you also want to consider the size of your tent. This obviously greatly depends on the number of campers in your party, but also in the kind of camping you’re planning to do. If you plan to bring a lot of supplies that you want protected from the elements, you may want a larger tent, regardless of the number of sleepers.